Nutcracker Auction



Nutcrackers On Parade Auction

The Wild in Art commissioned ‘Nutcrackers on Parade’ have grabbed headlines and captured the public’s imagination this December. Now is your chance to own a truly unique naval icon from history.

Six of the giant nutcracker figures will go on public auction in January. The auction will finish on 1st February giving supporters, organisations and companies the chance to bid for their own giant naval legend. Help the National Museum of the Royal Navy raise the funds needed to continue to tell the epic story of the Royal Navy.

When is the auction?

The exclusive Nutcracker Farewell auction starts on Thursday 25th January and will run for 7 days. The six nutcrackers that are up for grabs in the auction will also be available to view at the Historic Dockyard whilst the auction is running.

For details on the auction please register your interest here.


Colossol Carriers

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most advanced warship in the Royal Navy fleet. The biggest, boldest, longest, heavyweight (65,000 tonne) champion of the military world, the carrier class can carry up to 40 aircraft. She will be deployed across the globe to serve the United Kingdom on operations for the next 50 years.

This nutcracker was designed to represent the captain of the ship and the sea, featuring the aircrafts that this new carrier will be carrying.

Colossol Carriers was designed by Deven Bhurke. Deven is an artist and graphic designer who has been involved in many Wild in Art events up and down the country. His work has appeared in the Big Hoot in Birmingham, Herd of Sheffield, Oor Wullie Bucket Trail in Dundee, and Pigs Gone Wild in Ipswich.

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Proud Navy Wrens

Women have served in the Royal Navy for 250 years but 100 years ago, the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) motto was still ‘Never at Sea’. Having made their mark and proved their worth so powerfully they now receive the recognition and equal rights they deserve. This work is to be a celebration of determination, resilience, and success in the centenary year of the WRNS. This year saw the opening of the ‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy’ exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Jodie Silverman designed this memorial Wren as a celebration of the centenary of the WRNS. Jodie is a Manchester-based figurative artist and art therapist. She has been enthusiastically creating ever since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She gained a BA hons in Fine Art Painting and Printmaking from Leeds University in 2003 and went on to work for acclaimed animation company 'Cosgrove Hall Films' before undertaking an MA in Art Psychotherapy Practice, which she completed in 2009. She predominantly works figuratively in graphite and oil paints, She embraces the study of the human figure and enjoys learning classical drawing and painting techniques. Her influences are many and varied with the most prominent being Frida Khalo and Paula Rego.
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Brave Jutland Jack

John ‘Jack’ Travers Cornwell, Boy Seaman First Class, was an incredible young man whose heroics helped the British win the 72-hour Battle of Jutland during the First World War. The Essex lad from a working-class background joined the Royal Navy at 15 and died less than a year later at 16 on his first and last fight against the Germans on board HMS Chester in May 1916. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy, having stood his post aiming the gun when the rest of the crew were killed, despite being mortally wounded himself. His ‘imperishable memory’ lives on in his name given to homes for disabled and invalid soldiers. The Scouts set up an award in his name, The Jack Cornwell Badge, which recognises devotion to duty, courage and endurance.

Jack is represented in ‘Brave Jutland Jack’ rising from the sea with the poppies floating on the water and rising up to show he's no longer on solid ground and passed away after battle at sea. On the back is a version of a poster that was painted in 1917, with the details of his death and a portrait of Jack himself, with a poignant quote from the letter which was sent to his mum after his death, along with the bell from HMS Chester. He's also wearing the Victoria Cross, and the Jack Cornwell Scout award which was made up after his death in his honour for scouts who show courage and devotion to duty.

Megan Evans the artist behind ‘Jack’ is currently a tattoo artist & pet portrait artist based in Solihull, Birmingham. She studied Fine Art (BA Hons) at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. Megan has worked on various other projects, such as classroom murals in schools & has been commissioned to paint large murals

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First World War Dazzler

Known as the lucky ship, HMS M33’s First World War livery is a black and white camouflage dazzle effect paint. Made in Belfast in 1915, this low freeboard monitor vessel was used mainly for bombardment and blockade. During the Battle of Gallipoli she was under the charge of Admiral ‘Jacky’ Fisher. Hailed as the greatest Royal Navy Admiral since Nelson, Fisher was famous for many things including introducing fresh baked daily bread on board, instead of hard biscuits, and for driving the development of the first all-big-gun battleships such as HMS Dreadnought. He had an unrelenting attitude. His legendary quotes include, “HIT FIRST. HIT HARD. KEEP ON HITTING” (letter to Lord Esher 25th April 1912) and ““Never contradict, never explain, never apologise” (letter to The Times September 5th 1919). The beloved ship’s cat, Mrs Muggins, enjoyed many saucers of milk at sea.

The artist Jessica Perrin has taken this famous dazzle design to fashionable heights for our ‘First World War Dazzler’ nutcracker. Jessica Perrin is an animator and illustrator. Currently studying her Master’s degree at Birmingham City University, she loves to create both digital and traditional art which has strong narrative content. Her love for character design can be seen throughout her work, and her entry reflects her vibrant personality.
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Legendary Leaders

Vice-Admiral Nelson was an inspirational leader and a national hero. He lost an eye capturing Calvi on Corsica in 1793 but did not wear an eye patch, contrary to popular belief. He died defeating the Franco-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. His love life and conquests were colourful too, his illegitimate child, Horatia, and six year affair until his death with Lady Emma Hamilton caused much public scandal.

Roy Meats has taken the story of Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson and applied it to our ‘Legendary Leaders’ nutcracker, adorned with map and compass ready for the next mission.

Upon completing his apprenticeship, Roy set up his own signwriting company. He was working mainly for all the different breweries up and down the country and painted pictorial signs for pubs as there was a big demand for hand painted signs. In addition Roy started designing and producing painted fire screens, clocks and furniture. With the demise of the brewing industry, the demand for signs and signwriting declined and Roy took a new direction into painting murals in children’s bedrooms, hotel themed rooms and children’s play areas throughout England and Europe.

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Fine Figure Heads

The mighty HMS Warrior 1860 was Queen Victoria’s figurehead of the iron-clad black battle fleet. Welcoming visitors at the entrance to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for 30 years, Warrior strikes a powerful silhouette at sunrise and sunset and is a much-loved landmark in the city today.

Figureheads are admired by all who visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and we have a fine collection available to view by our visitors. Artist Jessica Perrin, who has captured our Warrior figurehead in the ‘Fine Figureheads’ Nutcracker, has done an exceptional job and it would certainly be a fine addition to any collection.

Jessica Perrin is an animator and illustrator working and studying in Birmingham. Currently studying her Master’s degree at Birmingham City University, she loves to create both digital and traditional art which has strong narrative content. Her love for character design can be seen throughout her work.


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The Nutcracker Farewell Auction

If you are interested in knowing more about the auction, when it will take place, and how to bid etc. please fill in our form below and we will be in touch.

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